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N’hamp. approves use of school bond money

JACKSON – Members of the Northampton County School Board voted here Monday in favor of a proposed budget regarding the $9 million bonds approved by taxpayers earlier this year in a referendum.

The decision marks a step forward in the construction of a new school to replace Jackson-Eastside and Seaboard Elementary schools and build a new administrative facility to accommodate the school’s growing needs, in addition to two roof replacements.

In July, Northampton voters placed their stamp of approval on the school bond in a 3,029-to-879 vote, allowing the project to be executed without raising taxes since the money earmarked for education that was already collected from sales tax will be used to reconcile the county’s general obligation bonds. Approximately 25 percent of the money collected from sales tax is designated and required to be spent for public school capital outlay or indebtedness incurred for school capital outlay.

The budget cites $5.5 million for the basic construction of the new elementary school building, $600,000 for site-work cost, $359,900 for architectural engineering fees, $200,000 for land purchase cost and other infrastructure and related expenses totaling $7,149,900.

The new school will provide an environment of increased access to technological resources and better serve students and the community while avoiding counterproductive efforts of sinking funds into existing structures that are educationally and energy deficient.

The new administrative building, which will be located on Bagley Drive off Highway 305 whose architectural footprint was also approved by the board during the meeting, carries a construction figure of $1,256,370 with other related expenses totaling $1,452,800 unto completion.

The proposed new building will be a pre-manufactured metal structure with a sloped metal roof and brick veneer exterior and metal studs with painted gypsum wallboard on the interior partitions.

It will also feature acoustical ceilings with both carpeted and linoleum floors with ceramic tile in the bathrooms and utilize heat pumps and HVAC units for heating and cooling the building.

Roof replacements for the first half of Northampton County High School-East ($286,000) and those above the gymnasium, cafeteria and kitchen at Garysburg Elementary ($111,300) are already significantly underway for an overall total of $397,300.

Board members passed a resolution requesting the Northampton County Board of Commissioners to sell the bonds.